The hypothalamus is the center of thermoregulatory processes in the body. If your body temperature rises above the regulated set-point, you have a fever. Most patients with Ham Lake fever exhibit this symptom due to an underlying condition that causes the body to release immunological mediators. The hypothalamus elevates the body temperature when triggered by these mediators.
What are the average temperatures of a human body?
Your body temperature varies throughout the day. For this reason, there is no standard body temperature. However, most people record an average of 37 degrees C, which is considered normal. Although this temperature is not constant throughout the day, you will experience a minor variation of about 0.5 degrees C. The variation in temperatures is responsible for sleep-wake rhythms and activity cycles. When you have a fever, your body temperatures rise above the 0.5 degrees C variation. At this point, your body releases pyrogen, which induces fever.
Is a fever similar to hyperthermia?
Although both conditions cause an increase in body temperature, fever and hyperthermia are not identical. A fever causes temperatures to rise above the set-point. The hypothalamus is still able to maintain body functionality. Hyperthermia causes an increase in temperature beyond the set-point and regulation capabilities of the hypothalamus.
What are the main issues of concern relating to a fever?
If you have a raised body temperature, you most likely have a fever. However, some symptoms point more towards hyperthermia than a fever. The most common effect that will help your doctor confirm hyperthermia is how your body reacts to medications that affect thermoregulation. If your condition is hyperthermia, your body will not lose weight and control the elevated temperature levels. Your hyperthermia may become worse due to exogenous heat exposure. Moreover, endogenous heat production will contribute to insanely high temperatures. You need to appreciate the references between a fever and hyperthermia because although fevers are generally manageable, the treatment approach is significantly different from hyperthermia.
What is the clinical significance of a fever?
When you wake up in the morning, your internal heat level is at its lowest. The level goes up at night. Your hypothalamus will control temperatures during the day to keep levels constant. One of the critical clinical significance of an elevated body temperature is in identifying disease. Physicians quickly determine whether your high internal temperature is an indication of fever or hyperthermia so that they can develop an ideal treatment plan.
Your doctor will also pay close attention to the pattern of your fever, which helps determine the underlying condition causing it. For example, if your fever lasts for two to three days, your doctor might expect some malaria. Tuberculosis is a condition that is associated with evening internal body temperature elevation. There is a certain age where fever becomes easily unnoticeable until your doctor takes your temperature.
It is essential to find out the cause of your fever to prevent adversities that come with getting a late diagnosis if you want to understand fevers in more detail and find out the best treatment plan.